Fathom Optics’ Light Field Technology Software Adds Motion & Dimension, Easy as Spot Color

Belly Band

This month’s issue of FLEXO features a belly band with a number of effects that can be created using Fathom’s technology. The belly band was printed by FTA member Dion Label Printing in Westfield, MA.

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Inspecting Fathom Print under the loupe

Commenting on the design, Arranz explains, “When creating this belly band, the core idea was to show a wide spectrum of colors and effects. We used diecut, peel-off labels to showcase the endless possibilities of Fathom Effects, which can be implemented in any brand’s story.”

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The die cutter is dialed in, and the stickers peel up as intended

Details on the belly band’s production run follow:

  • Belly band specs: 6-in. high x 17.625-in. wide, pressure-sensitive label
  • Station 1: Primer on pressure-sensitive paper
  • Station 2: First effect screen printed at 480 lpi in black on primed PS paper, 1,200 cpi, 1.4 bcm anilox, UV ink
  • Station 3: Glue applied for face stock—2 mil clear polypropylene face stock, run through a corona treater and laminated to the web. (Converters may prefer to use a second clear PS material instead of the glue coating or even a sufficiently thick layer of varnish)
  • Station 4: Second effect screen printed at 480 lpi in white ink. GTT XS anilox roll, UV ink
  • Stations 5-9: Process color and clear varnish top coat
  • Plates: Flexographic plates are Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra water-wash plates
  • Tapes: Mounting tapes are 3M 19 Series

Randy Duhaime, GM at Dion Label Printing, says, “We were really pleased with the result of the Fathom Effects on the belly band. The setup was straightforward and we were able to create stunning results with no significant added cost. And our press operators really enjoyed the opportunity of running such an interesting and out-of-the-box job.”

Converter Experiences

In addition to this belly band, Dion Label Printing has run several shrink sleeve jobs on 45-μm. and 50-μm. material, each with multiple different effects incorporated into the layout. Duhaime concludes that, “Overall, this technology is exciting, easy to run and provides a new embellishment offering for our customers.”

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The slitter is configured

Another example of Fathom’s effects can be seen on a label developed for Iowa-based Confluence Brewery’s “The Wizard” gose ale. Confluence and 818 Design in Des Moines—the original label designers—worked with Fathom Optics to enhance the design’s most characteristic features: the wizard, staff and orb. The night sky provided a natural basis for a moving effect. When the consumer turns the can from left to right, the background graphics swirl, making the foreground illustration pop.

Fathom then collaborated with Grace Label in Des Moines, providing it with the tools needed to take the PDF design and produce the 1-bit plate files. These would create the Fathom motion effects when they ran the job on a flexographic press.

Initial setup was straightforward as well. Fathom provided a special 1-bit fingerprint pattern from which Grace Label could make plates. Once these were run on press, Fathom performed a mathematical characterization of the equipment, to optimize Fathom Effects to work at the high speeds and under the existing registration tolerances required for the application.

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Dion GM Randy Duhaime counts out prints on a gram scale—Dion is pulling out all the stops!

Confluence was thrilled with the ultimate multi-depth aspect of the design, as well as the movement. Josh Maxson, Confluence production manager, describes the effect in action: “The design seems to be on three different levels with our wizard design in the middle, and a Northern Lights effect in the background. At the top of the Wizard’s staff, we have an orb which now seems to come out from the front of the label and rotate.”

Another application now in production comes from FTA member Hammer Packaging, a Fort Dearborn Co company, in Rochester, NY. Hammer is running a series of beer labels to showcase at the Craft Brewers Conference in September. Multimedia Specialist Dani Pachuta enthuses, “The Fathom Designer software is super user friendly. Tutorials give you step-by-step instructions on what you need to do in order to have a successful design. Software shows you exactly what you’ll get once printed. With all the effect options, it was difficult for me to choose which one to use on my design, so I wound up creating more designs, so I could use more effects!”

To those flexographers and others like them, Baran explains, “We believe that our Light Field Technology will bring new opportunities for creative expression and new opportunities for business growth, to designers, brands and converters alike.”

About the Author

headshot Doug Weiss
Doug Weiss is director of business development for Fathom Optics, a software embellishment company for packaging and authentication. He has many years in production and plant management for companies such as International Paper, The Wall Street Journal and Webcraft. Additionally, he has been a part of plant turnarounds, expansions and the creation of a greenfield facility outside of Lyon, France for aseptic packaging. With vast experience in sales, marketing and business development for flexography, Weiss has held assignments with Bobst, Muller Martini and BST ProMark. Prior to joining Fathom, he served as business development manager for Miraclon (Kodak) for more than a decade.